In what universe is it blessed to mourn? Isn't mourning a sad state filled with sorrow and grief? Yet, our Lord clearly states that those who mourn must be considered to have entered a state of blessedness. The contradiction does not seem to disturb our Lord. In Matthew 5, blessed can be rendered “happy.” If we read it with this replacement it sounds even more conflicting. “Happy are those who mourn?”

The contrast is a paradox. You know, a seemingly contradictory statement that is necessarily true—like it is more tiring to stand than to walk. Or more fitting for the day this article is published (Feb. 29), a man born in 1960 on February 29 would have only had 14 birthdays, but still be 56 years old. Your head spinning? Back to the subject at hand. Jesus makes this strange statement for a reason and in a certain context. Context is important because it helps explain the statement. For example, did you know that the Bible states at least three time that there is no God? What? No way! Yes, way! But look at the context. Each time is like Psalm 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, 'There is no god.'” Context matters.

So, let's examine the context. The declaration that those who mourn are blessed follows the declaration that the poor in spirit are blessed. Remember, this passage is Jesus' Kingdom Manifesto. It is His Sermon on the Mount not only because He is preaching to people on the side of a hill, but He rises to heights in teaching unseen before. We are using the word equilibrium to describe what Jesus is calling us to. He is showing us how the Kingdom works and how to align with the King. The balance and harmony we so long for is at the end of this road that He is now giving us the map to. This journey to righteousness begins at an odd place. It begins in recognition and admission of complete and utter spiritual destitution. The poor in spirit admit “I Can't” because they have discovered they are incapable of anything without God. They are hapless, helpless, and hopeless, requiring the supernatural intervention of the divine to rescue them from their depraved state. It is those who admit their total spiritual bankruptcy who are citizens of the Kingdom of heaven.

Now, see Jesus's next statement is not out of line. It is the perfect progression in the sequence of His revelation. When we finally recognize our total depravity (poor in spirit) and we embrace and admit it, then it is natural to grieve over out utterly helpless condition. Mourning is the natural response to death. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2, that we were once dead in our trespasses and sins. Poor in spirit is Jesus' wonderfully poetic way of stating this obvious fact. Before Jesus, we were dead—hopeless and without God. Does it now sound logical that we would mourn our condition? Experts tell us that grief is a process that needs to be worked through to the end. It involves stages like shock and disbelief. It can include depression and anger. But once we come to grips with the loss, in time we can accept it and be comforted, and move on. Jesus is giving us permission to express sorrow over our total spiritual destitution. F.B. Meyer, the late editor of Christianity Today, said, “There can be no comfort without mourning.” Until we grieve we will not experience His grace.

Essential to this statement of blessedness and inherent in the transformation to equilibrium is the promise of comfort. Mourning is a blessed state in the progression to proper alignment with God because in it we find comfort. In the the dark night of the soul we discover the light of the world. In the pit with Joseph we learn that the only place to look is up. We would not know healing if not for the pain. We would not know we have a King who can deliver unless He delivers us. We would not completely understand our spiritual destitution without experiencing the shame and guilt it produces.

This declaration of blessedness is a message of hope that such things are temporary and fleeting in the Kingdom of heaven. They serve a purpose for our experience, establishing a foundation on which to build and give glory to God. “I once was lost, but now I am found! I was blind, but now I see!” If we grieve the pain caused by our depravity, we will be comforted toward wholeness. Mourning is a key step in the progressive sequence to equilibrium with the Father.

So, grieve! Mourn! Feel sorrow for your sins and vile acts that kept you from knowing God and entering His Kingdom. If you do, if you really let go and weep and wail for your sins, the very God of heaven with His Son and accompanied by His Holy Spirit will comfort you in your darkest hour. You can consider yourself blessed and happy when you grieve for your condition without God. Confession is good for the soul and does wonders for the conscience. Mourning removes guilt and shame and replaces it with grace and mercy. When the enemy wants to remind you of past failings, remind him that they are under the blood—forgiven!

Equilibrium is the blessed state of being properly aligned with God. Recall that it is an inverse proportion. More of you means less of Him. Mourning has the ability to lower us to a very good place. It puts us in a location where God is all we have and the only One we can look to for help. All other things in this life, including people, will fail us. If the poor in spirit declare, “I Can't,” those who mourn admit, “I Hurt!” When we confess we hurt, we give the Father permission to move in and comfort us. There is no comfort like the mercy of God. There is not fix like grace.

Embrace your sad, depressed position for a moment. Let the pain of guilt and shame overwhelm you for just a second. Feel it, grieve it. Sorrow only lasts for the night, joy comes in the morning! Your morning is here. Your mourning is over! Receive the comfort of the Spirit who is The Comforter. Your pain, and the healing that follows, is proof you are on the road to righteousness. You are moving toward equilibrium with the Father. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.